3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War comes to Discworld!
Jingo is yet another book that takes place in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. It's the fourth book to feature the City Watch, which is the police force of Ankh-Morpork, a city on the Disc. It's also one of the best. The City Watch, in its initial incarnation, was an homage to those no-name soldiers, troopers and other various cannon-fodder that inhabit adventure...
Published on March 15 2002 by David Roy
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK book
I have to confess that I find this one of Pratchett's weaker efforts, although it is still a good read. Although he always has some fairly deep and philosophical messages in his writing, they are usually so well hidden by the humour that you don't realise they are there. In "Jingo", I found there to be a bit less humour than normal and, as a result, the...
Published on Feb. 9 2001 by the_halberdier
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but not the best,
Although this book is a good book in its own right - interesting characters and plot, gripping pace, humorous dialogue and a meaningful theme, it's not my favourite of the Guards novels. Feet Of Clay and The Fifth Elephant have more interesting mysteries and Men At Arms and Guards! Guards! have more interesting character development. I don't know, maybe it's all the sand, but Jingo has always seemed a little unsatisfying. But I reckon that that's because I am comparing it to the other Guards books - there's still a lot of good moments and it's worth a read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Humour and reality,
I found the book to be one of the most humourous distillations of the real world that I have read for some time. Words spoken by dwarf or troll, could just as easily have been spoken by any current earth nation representative. This was my first DiscWorld and will certainly not be my last.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, hysterical, and moving,
One of the best of the Vimes substrata of Discworld novels, with the combination of terrifying humor and sudden shocking profundity that makes reading Pratchett such an amazing experience. Don't miss this one.
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK book,
I have to confess that I find this one of Pratchett's weaker efforts, although it is still a good read. Although he always has some fairly deep and philosophical messages in his writing, they are usually so well hidden by the humour that you don't realise they are there. In "Jingo", I found there to be a bit less humour than normal and, as a result, the political undertones to the book rather stood out sometimes.
Don't get me wrong -- Pratchett's message (at its most basic level, without spoiling any of the plot, that war is silly) is quite profound, but it is rather jarring when it appears, uncovered, in parts of a book that is ostensibly a comedy. I usually love the Guards series of books the most ("Guards, Guards" is possibly one of his best books), but I feel that this is probably the weakest of them. It is most like "Feet of Clay" but does not have as much suspense.
Still, a worthwhile read and a good book for a rainy day.
5.0 out of 5 stars Did the Iron Lady squirm . . . ?,
Of all the shabby, unjustified aggressions witnessed during the 20th Century, few surpass the Maldive War - Maggie Thatcher's effort to stand with Victoria Regina in Britain's regard. Hundreds of lives were lost over a set of cold, desolate islands in the remote South Atlantic. Someone has calculated that if the money spent on this last gasp of the British Empire had instead gone to resettlement, every resident of the Falkland Islands could have received a million dollars and a new home. Jingo is among the greatest critiques on the folly of wars. It would be nice to think someone sat the Iron Lady down and read this book to her, but she probably wouldn't comprehend it.
When an island rises from the sea on Discworld, the nearest "nations" immediately lay claim to it. The clash of claims leading to war is almost inevitable. Pratchett explains how "war feelings" must be fostered and encouraged, even when the cause of conflict is such a departure from reason as this pitiful gob of land. Sam Vimes, arguably the most reasonable man on Discworld, becomes a victim of war propaganda, swept along in its tide against his will. Sam's natural leadership brings the rest of the Watch along. Except for two who've gone missing - conscripted by, of all people, Lord Vetanari.
Pratchett's characterizations in this book achieve a new pinnacle, especially the new ones. Ahmed, at once Sam's foil and his peer, is a wonderfully enigmatic creation. That he's from "the other side" merely adds to his value in this book. It's to be hoped we meet him again in some future book. Leonard of Quirm arises from earlier vague references to become a real person. The near-stereotype of the absent-minded scientist must have set some teeth on edge at Oxbridge, but Len is a portrayal everyone will recognize. There's one new character, however, that will give the most dedicated Pratchett fan some pause - Beti. More than just a fresh persona, Beti gives Pratchett an opportunity explore previously unrealized themes in his writings. Some comparisons might be made with Angua, but they would pale against what Beti brings to Pratchett's recent publications.
Only one of the characters in this book could be called a disappointment - Carrot. It's almost impossible to view Carrot as an overblown portrayal, but Pratchett manages it this time. No matter - there are too many other excellent renditions that keep you reading and enjoying. Especially that of Sam Vimes. Lord Vetanari's resolution to the strife is in the finest Pratchett tradition of innovative conclusions.
The sad aspect of this book is that it was written ten years too late - the act of self- glorification had passed. As a message for future leaders of any nation, it seems to have missed the target. In part, that's because the media and other reviewers of Pratchett's work think that he's a humourist. That's mistaken. Pratchett's a philosopher who happens to have the talent to make us smile while he's making us face real issues. Pratchett forces us to confront ourselves, our prejudices and biases leading us into conflict with our fellows. The theme of "us" and "them" seems as ancient as humanity. Whether it will ever be shed is a matter for conjecture, but this book, if read by enough, brings some hope. Pratchett is always more than "just funny" and this work is one of his finest treatises on human frailty.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Discworld Books About,
By A Customer
Pratchett is on great form here in this brilliant satire. Thiss is perhaps not surprising since his 'Watch" novels are always of the highest calibre. I particularly enjoyed the quotes of the former Ankh Morpork soldier General Tacticus however. It gives a very accurate portrayal of the jingoism it mocks and besides which it is absolutely hilarious. If you've never experienced Pratchett's humor before you don't know what you're missing. If you're new to Pratchett you'd probably be better starting on Guards Guards but this is still a good novel to start on.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
I loved this book...
See the head of a parade tossing his sword around in the air and rolling a dogend. See an army arrested for loitering and unruly behavior. See Leondard da Quirm with his automatic rocket launcher... Outrageous political satire, remarking on, among other things, the prejudice against Johnny Klatchian (who can't stand the taste of steel)...
A great book, one of my favorites...
5.0 out of 5 stars But By Jingo...,
(Note, this is based on the British Version, and if there are some differences, bear with me...) War, greed, politics, underhanded schemes, a Leonardo Da Vinci-like. This book has it all. I'd have to say this is one of my favorites of my many Discworld novels. It rates to me on a level of Feet of Clay and Men at Arms. Commander Vimes, the ever reluctant gentleman, and his new pocket orginizer add an interesting insight into the ever famous "Trousers of Time". The Patrician's foresight and amazing ingenuity is shown fully in this novel, a rarity to see because of his position. With Reg Shoe being brought into the Watch (remember him from Reaper Man?), the wide range of previously used characters, including the minor character Dorfl from Soul Music and Detritus from many of the previous novels, is extended. An enjoyable read, and quite insightful... if you can stop laughing enough to look into it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Political Satire?,
I love Pratchett novels, and this book is no different. In this excellent addendum to the Discworld novels, the main joke is that a new island pops up, and so who's the owner? This novel can be read on three different levels, for the chracters, the jokes and for the underlying meaning. If you get all three, consider yourself blessed, if not, read on... Definitely a must have for Pratchett fans, and a good addition for any Pythonites out there.
4.0 out of 5 stars A standard outing,
This is by no means the best of the Watch novels ... but even an average Pratchett novel is a thing of beauty. By turns deadly serious and laugh-out-loud funny, the book has only three weaknesses (which other reviewers have touched upon).
First, most of the Watch characters get barely anything to do. Second, the Patrician is way out of character. And finally, the ending is pretty weak.
Nevertheless, this is a still a great and very entertaining read. I wouldn't recommend it as a starting point, though, as Guards! Guards! is a better introduction, Men at Arms is funnier, and Feet of Clay is a better mystery.
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Jingo by Terry (1948-) Pratchett (Hardcover - 1997)
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